​​​​​​​GAME ON

What is Game On?

No one likes training during the week only to have the match defaulted on Friday night or Saturday Morning. if you're a rugby coach you might spend all week looking for front rowers. That's all about to change with Game On and it's designed to make sure that rugby still kicks off. 

Game On is a flexible game format designed to enable games to proceed with meaningful outcomes desipte teams being unable to meet normal team number and/or front row considerations. It applies to all adult club & secondary school rugby competitions that are not Designated Premier Grade Competitions. 

Game On is only to be use when a team has less than 15 players and/or insufficient players trained to play in front row posistions to commmence the match. Game on must be decided before the match commences eg. if a team is carrying 15 players & atleast 3 trained front rowers, the match will commence under normal rugby laws. If one of their players becomes injured and has to leave the field during the game, the opposing team does not need to match numbers and can continue playing with 15 players. 

The rules apply to matches under the Game On Provisions are determined as follows: 

Team Size

Team size (when one or both teams has less than 15 players). Playing numbers (from 10 to 15 aside) are determined by agreement between the Teams. In the event of no agreement the playing numbers will match the players of the team with the fewest players. 

Rolling Replacements 

​​​​​​​Rolling Replacements (Grades above Teenage Rugby only). Rolling Replacements will be permitted in all games played when using Game On provisions unless teams agree that Rolling Replacements will not be used, and to notify the referee prior to kick-off. Half game rule applies to Secondary school rugby below 1st XV grades. 

Contested or Non Contested Scrums 

Contested or uncontested Scrums. Subject to availability of a minimum of three players trained to play in the front row posisitons to start in each team, the match will commence with contested scrums, but for the avoidance of doubt revert to Uncontested Scrums if any of those trained players leave the field. 

Length of the Match 

To be agreed between the teams (with 40 minutes being the minimum and 70 minutes being the maximum for Teenage Rugby, and 80 minutes being the maximum for grades above Teenage Rugby. (if no agreement is reached, the match duration will be based on the team size as per the table below.

Number Time Maximum 
 10 a side 2x 20 minute halves 40 minutes 
11 a side 2x 25 minute halves 50 minutes 
12 a side 2x 30 minute halves 60 minutes 
13/14 a side2x 35 minute halves70 minutes 
15 a side2x 40 minute halves80 minutes

Teenage Grades MAX 70 min

What Grades can use Game On in Canterbury?​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​Communication is key when it comes to Game On, all matches that are to be played under Game On will require the referee and team representitives to meet before kick off to confirm the Game On process. Team representitives are encouraged to comminucate as early as possible in the lead up to the match if either team thinks they may need to use Game On.​​​​​​​ 

See below to find grades across Canterbury that will use Game On:

North Canterbury

All grades from U14 & above, except Division 1


All Grades from U14 & above except Premier Men, Premier Reserve & Miles Toyota Championship


All Grades from U14 & above except Division 1 & 2